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Reports on Progress in Physics

A P Mackenzie
Although they were first synthesized in chemistry laboratories nearly fifty years ago, the physical properties of the metals PdCoO2, PtCoO2 and PdCrO2 have only more recently been studied in detail. The delafossite structure contains triangular co-ordinated atomic layers, and electrical transport in the delafossite metals is strongly 2D. Their most notable feature is their in-plane conductivity, which is amazingly high for oxide metals. At room temperature, the conductivity of non-magnetic PdCoO2 and PtCoO2 is higher per carrier than those of any alkali metal and even the most conductive elements, copper and silver...
January 12, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
M Smidman, M B Salamon, H Q Yuan, D F Agterberg
In non-centrosymmetric superconductors, where the crystal structure lacks a centre of inversion, parity is no longer a good quantum number and an electronic antisymmetric spin-orbit coupling (ASOC) is allowed to exist by symmetry. If this ASOC is sufficiently large, it has profound consequences on the superconducting state. For example, it generally leads to a superconducting pairing state which is a mixture of spin-singlet and spin-triplet components. The possibility of such novel pairing states, as well as the potential for observing a variety of unusual behaviors, led to intensive theoretical and experimental investigations...
January 10, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Arup K Chakraborty, John Barton
Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure. Pathogens have now evolved that have not succumbed to vaccination using the empirical paradigms pioneered by Pasteur and Jenner. Vaccine design strategies that are based on a mechanistic understanding of the pertinent immunology and virology are required to confront and eliminate these scourges. In this perspective, we describe just a few examples of work aimed to achieve this goal by bringing together approaches from statistical physics with biology and clinical research...
January 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Marcelo F Ciappina, J Perez-Hernandez, Alexandra Landsman, William Okell, Sergey Zherebtsov, Benjamin Förg, Johannes Schötz, Lennart Seiffert, Thomas Fennel, Tahir Shaaran, Tomas Zimmermann, Alexis Chacón, Roland Guichard, Amelle Zair, John Tisch, J Marangos, Tobias Witting, Avi Braun, Stefan Maier, Luis Roso, Michael Krüger, Peter Hommelhoff, Matthias Kling, Ferenc Krausz, Maciej Lewenstein
Recently two emerging areas of research, attosecond and nanoscale physics, have started to come together. Attosecond physics deals with phenomena occurring when ultrashort laser pulses, with duration on the femto- and sub-femtosecond time scales, interact with atoms, molecules or solids. The laser-induced electron dynamics occurs natively on a timescale down to a few hundred or even tens of attoseconds, which is comparable with the optical field. For comparison, the revolution of an electron on a 1s orbital of a hydrogen atom is 152 as...
January 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Walter M Weber, Thomas Mikolajick
Research in the field of electronics of one-dimensional group-IV semiconductor structures has attracted increasing attention over the past 15 years. The exceptional combination of the unique one-dimensional electronic transport properties with the mature material know-how of highly integrated silicon and germanium technology holds the promise of enhancing state-of-the-art electronics. In addition of providing conduction channels that can bring conventional field effect transistors to the uttermost scaling limits, the physics of 1-D group IV nanowires endows new device principles...
January 5, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Wolfgang Tichy
Spacetime is foliated by spatial hypersurfaces in the 3+1 split of general relativity. The initial value problem then consists of specifying initial data for all fields on one such a spatial hypersurface, such that the subsequent evolution forward in time is fully determined. On each hypersurface the 3-metric and extrinsic curvature describe the geometry. Together with matter fields such as fluid velocity, energy density and rest mass density, the 3-metric and extrinsic curvature then constitute the initial data...
December 23, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Karl Otto Greulich
The use of laser microbeams and optical tweezers in a wide field of biological applications from genomic to immunology is discussed. Microperforation is used to introduce a well-defined amount of molecules into cells for genetic engineering and optical imaging. The microwelding of two cells induced by a laser microbeam combines their genetic outfit. Microdissection allows specific regions of genomes to be isolated from a whole set of chromosomes. Handling the cells with optical tweezers supports investigation on the attack of immune systems against diseased or cancerous cells...
December 23, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
D Cavalcanti, P Skrzypczyk
Quantum steering refers to the non-classical correlations that can be observed between the outcomes of measurements applied on half of an entangled state and the resulting post-measured states that are left with the other party. From an operational point of view, a steering test can be seen as an entanglement test where one of the parties performs uncharacterised measurements. Thus, quantum steering is a form of quantum inseparability that lies in between the well-known notions of Bell nonlocality and entanglement...
December 23, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Zefeng Ren, Zhigang Sun, Donghui Zhang, Xueming Yang
The concept of the transition state has played an important role in the field of chemical kinetics and reaction dynamics. Reactive resonances in the transition-state region can dramatically enhance the reaction probability; thus investigation of the reactive resonances has attracted great attention from chemical physicists for many decades. In this review, we mainly focus on the recent progress made in probing the elusive resonance phenomenon in the simple A  +  BC reaction and understanding its nature, especially in the benchmark F/Cl  +  H2 and their isotopic variants...
December 23, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Mark P Oxley, Andrew R Lupini, Stephen J Pennycook
The last two decades have seen dramatic advances in the resolution of the electron microscope brought about by the successful correction of lens aberrations that previously limited resolution for most of its history. We briefly review these advances, the achievement of sub-Ångstrom resolution and the ability to identify individual atoms, their bonding configurations and even their dynamics and diffusion pathways. We then present a review of the basic physics of electron scattering, lens aberrations and their correction, and an approximate imaging theory for thin crystals which provides physical insight into the various different imaging modes...
December 23, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Dmitrii L Maslov, Andrey V Chubukov
Recent progress in experimental techniques has made it possible to extract detailed information on dynamics of carriers in a correlated electron material from its optical conductivity, [Formula: see text]. This review consists of three parts, addressing the following three aspects of optical response: (1) the role of momentum relaxation; (2) [Formula: see text] scaling of the optical conductivity of a Fermi-liquid metal, and (3) the optical conductivity of non-Fermi-liquid metals. In the first part (section 2), we analyze the interplay between the contributions to the conductivity from normal and umklapp electron-electron scattering...
December 21, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Tim Gershon, Vladimir Gligorov
The phenomenon of CP violation is crucial to understand the asymmetry between matter and antimatter that exists in the Universe. Dramatic experimental progress has been made, in particular in measurements of the behaviour of particles containing the b quark, where CP violation effects are predicted by the Kobayashi-Maskawa mechanism that is embedded in the Standard Model. The status of these measurements and future prospects for an understanding of CP violation beyond the Standard Model are reviewed.
December 21, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
C Reichhardt, C J Olson Reichhardt
We review the depinning and nonequilibrium phases of collectively interacting particle systems driven over random or periodic substrates. This type of system is relevant to vortices in type-II superconductors, sliding charge density waves, electron crystals, colloids, stripe and pattern forming systems, and skyrmions, and could also have connections to jamming, glassy behaviors, and active matter. These systems are also ideal for exploring the broader issues of characterizing transient and steady state nonequilibrium flow phases as well as nonequilibrium phase transitions between distinct dynamical phases, analogous to phase transitions between different equilibrium states...
December 20, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Kenji Fukushima
Theoretical studies on the early-time dynamics in the ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions are reviewed, including pedagogical introductions on the initial condition with small-[Formula: see text] gluons treated as a color glass condensate, the bottom-up thermalization scenario, plasma/glasma instabilities, basics of some formulations such as the kinetic equations and the classical statistical simulation. More detailed discussions follow to make an overview of recent developments on the fast isotropization, the onset of hydrodynamics, and the transient behavior of momentum spectral cascades...
December 19, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gilbert Lonzarich, David Pines, Yi-Feng Yang
Understanding the emergence and subsequent behavior of heavy electrons in Kondo lattice materials is one of the grand challenges in condensed matter physics. From this perspective we review the progress that has been made during the past decade and suggest some directions for future research. Our focus will be on developing a new microscopic framework that incorporates the basic concepts that emerge from a phenomenological description of the key experimental findings.
December 19, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Jorge Pullin
We present a summary for non-specialists of the special issue of the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity on 'Milestones of general relativity', commemorating the 100th anniversary of the theory.
December 19, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
C Groves
Charge transport simulation can be a valuable tool to better understand, optimise and design organic transistors (OTFTs), photovoltaics (OPVs), and light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This review presents an overview of common charge transport and device models; namely drift-diffusion, master equation, mesoscale kinetic Monte Carlo and quantum chemical Monte Carlo, and a discussion of the relative merits of each. This is followed by a review of the application of these models as applied to charge transport in organic semiconductors and devices, highlighting in particular the insights made possible by modelling...
December 19, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
Jean-Paul Blaizot
The early stages of heavy ion collisions are dominated by high density systems of gluons that carry each a small fraction $x$ of the momenta of the colliding nucleons. A distinguishing feature of such systems is the phenomenon of ``saturation" which tames the expected growth of the gluon density as the energy of the collision increases. The onset of saturation occurs at a particular transverse momentum scale, the ``saturation momentum", that emerges dynamically and that marks the onset of non-linear gluon interactions...
December 16, 2016: Reports on Progress in Physics
A C Hayes
Today the applications of nuclear physics span a very broad range of topics and fields. This review discusses a number of aspects of these applications, including selected topics and concepts in nuclear reactor physics, nuclear fusion, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear-geophysics, and nuclear medicine. The review begins with a historic summary of the early years in applied nuclear physics, with an emphasis on the huge developments that took place around the time of World War II, and that underlie the physics involved in designs of nuclear explosions, controlled nuclear energy, and nuclear fusion...
February 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Andrei Linde
The theory of the inflationary multiverse changes the way we think about our place in the world. According to its most popular version, our world may consist of infinitely many exponentially large parts, exhibiting different sets of low-energy laws of physics. Since these parts are extremely large, the interior of each of them behaves as if it were a separate universe, practically unaffected by the rest of the world. This picture, combined with the theory of eternal inflation and anthropic considerations, may help to solve many difficult problems of modern physics, including the cosmological constant problem...
February 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
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